Our Kind of People by Lawrence Otis Graham
Inside America's Black Upper Class

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Synopsis

Debutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha's Vineyard. Membership in the Links, Jack & Jill, Deltas, Boule, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book written about the black elite by a member of this hard-to-penetrate group.

Author and TV commentator Lawrence Otis Graham, one of the nation's most prominent spokesmen on race and class, spent six years interviewing the wealthiest black families in America. He includes historical photos of a people that made their first millions in the 1870s. Graham tells who's in and who's not in the group today with separate chapters on the elite in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, and New Orleans. A new Introduction explains the controversy that the book elicited from both the black and white communities.

 

About Lawrence Otis Graham

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The author of fourteen books, including the "New York Times" bestseller "Our Kind of People", and a contributing editor for "Reader's Digest", Lawrence Otis Graham's work has also appeared in the "New York Times", "Essence", and "The Best American Essays". He lives with his wife in Manhattan and Chappaqua, New York.
 
Published March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 448 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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But matters can get out of hand, as Graham (Member of the Club: Reflections on Life in a Racially Polarized World, 1995) perhaps unwittingly demonstrates in his examination of what he calls the black elite.

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Publishers Weekly

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Graham makes clear that the black elite has always been strongly shaped by the peculiarly intertwined American preoccupations with color and class, noting that, in the past, most members of the black elite felt they were ""superior to other blacks--and to most whites."" Stressing the importance o...

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